The Lord Luce
Official portrait of Lord Luce crop 2.jpg
Lord Chamberlain
In office
1 October 2000 – 15 October 2006
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Lord Camoys
Succeeded byThe Earl Peel
Governor of Gibraltar
In office
24 February 1997 – 21 March 2000
MonarchElizabeth II
Chief MinisterPeter Caruana
Preceded bySir Hugo White
Succeeded bySir David Durie
Minister of State for the Arts
In office
3 September 1985 – 25 July 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Earl of Gowrie
Succeeded byDavid Mellor
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
2 October 2000 – 29 June 2020
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Shoreham
Arundel and Shoreham (1971–1974)
In office
1 April 1971 – 16 March 1992
Preceded byHenry Kerby
Succeeded byMichael Stephen
Personal details
Richard Napier Luce

(1936-10-14) 14 October 1936 (age 85)
Westminster, England
Political partyCrossbench
Conservative (during political career)
ChildrenThe Hon. Alexander Luce
The Hon. Edward Luce
Parent(s)William Luce
Margaret Napier
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge
Viceregal styles of
The Lord Luce
Flag of the Governor of Gibraltar.svg
Reference styleHis Excellency
Spoken styleYour Excellency

Richard Napier Luce, Baron Luce, KG, GCVO, Kt, PC, DL (born 14 October 1936)[1] is a British politician. He is a former Lord Chamberlain to the Queen, serving from 2000 to 2006, and has been Governor of Gibraltar, a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from 1971 to 1992, and government minister, and a crossbench member of the House of Lords.

Early career

Born in Westminster, Luce was educated at Wellington College, and Christ's College, Cambridge. He completed national service in Cyprus 1955–1957, serving as a second lieutenant with the Wiltshire Regiment. He then briefly joined the Overseas Civil Service, first as a district officer in Kenya, 1960–1962. He then worked for Gallaher Ltd as a brand manager (1963–1965), before becoming marketing manager for the Spirella Company of Great Britain. In 1968–1971 he was director of the National Innovation Centre.

From 1972 to 1979, he was Chairman of IFA Consultants Ltd, he was also chair of Selenex Ltd (1973–1979), and of Courtenay Stewart International (1975–1979).

Political career

After unsuccessfully contesting Hitchin against Labour's Shirley Williams in 1970, Luce was first elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Arundel and Shoreham in a by-election in 1971. When that constituency was abolished in boundary changes for the February 1974 general election, he was returned for the new Shoreham constituency. He retired from the Commons at the 1992 general election.

Luce was appointed the parliamentary private secretary to the Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs in 1972. After the Conservative Party lost the February 1974 general election, he became an opposition whip.

When the Conservatives returned to power at the 1979 general election, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1981, he was promoted to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs within the same department. In 1982, he followed his Secretary of State, Lord Carrington, in resigning over Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands.[2] He returned to office in 1983, again as a minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1985, he was moved to the Privy Council Office as Minister for the Arts and Minister for the Civil Service, which was his last ministerial office. He resigned in 1990.

Luce was knighted in 1991,[3] and was made a privy counsellor in 1986.

Later life

Luce was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham between 1992 and 1996.[4] In 1997, he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar,[4] an office he held until 2000,[5] and he was created a Life Peer,[4] on 2 October 2000 as Baron Luce, of Adur in the County of West Sussex.[6] He sat in the House of Lords until his retirement on 29 June 2020.[7]

In 2000, Lord Luce was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)[8] and became Lord Chamberlain, head of the Queen's Royal Household.[9] He relinquished the post of Lord Chamberlain on 11 October 2006 and was succeeded by the Rt Hon. The Earl Peel.

Lord Luce was appointed a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter (KG) on 23 April 2008.[10]

On 26 April 2012, Lord Luce was appointed by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, as the chair of the Crown Nominations Commission for the see of Canterbury, the commission set up to nominate the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.[11]

Lord Luce is president of the Voluntary Arts Network, and is High Steward of Westminster Abbey. He was president of the Royal Over-Seas League from 2002 until May 2020.

Lord Luce was appointed as the first Chancellor of the University of Gibraltar upon its foundation in 2015.[12]

In popular culture

Lord Luce was portrayed by Jonathan Coy in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's controversial The Falklands Play. He has also written Ringing the Changes, A Memoir published by Michael Russell.


He is the son of Margaret (née Napier) and Sir William Luce, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Aden, Political Resident in the Gulf and Special Representative to the Foreign Secretary (Lord Home) for Gulf Affairs. His father's older brother was Admiral Sir David Luce, First Sea Lord (1963–1966). His maternal grandfather was Trevylyan Napier, who was the Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station (1919–1920). Luce has two sons, Alexander and Edward. His sister Diana is married to retired Royal Navy officer Captain David Hart Dyke, and his niece is comedian and actress Miranda Hart. His paternal grandfather, Rear Admiral John Luce, survived two key British naval battles during World War I: the defeat at The Battle of Coronel and the victory at The Battle of the Falkland Islands.


Coat of arms of Richard Luce, Baron Luce
Coat of Arms of Richard, Baron Luce.svg
Knight since 1991
A coronet of a Baron
Upon a helm with a wreath of Or and Gules, within a circlet of Plumbago Flowers a Mute Swan naiant proper, gorged with a Chain pendant thereform a Portcullis Or.
Mantling Or and Gules.
Gules, two lucies naiant in pale Or, and on a chief Or, a key fesswise the wards to the dexter Gules, between two martlets Sable.
Latin: Come light
Other elements
Order of the Garter circlet bearing the inscription HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE[13]
Garter Banner of the Baron Luce.svg
The banner of the Baron Luce's arms used as knight of the Garter depicted at St George's Chapel.


Commonwealth honours

Commonwealth honours
Country Date Appointment Post-nominal letters
 United Kingdom 1986–present Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council PC
 United Kingdom 1991–present Knight Bachelor Kt
 England 1991–2011 Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex[14] DL
 United Kingdom 2000–present Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order GCVO
 England 23 April 2008 – present Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter KG


Chancellor, visitor, governor, rector and fellowships
Location Date School Position
 England 1992–1996 University of Buckingham Vice Chancellor
 England 2005–present Christ's College, Cambridge Honorary Fellow[15][16]
 Gibraltar 2015–2019 University of Gibraltar Chancellor[17]
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (December 2020)

Honorary degrees

Location Date School Degree Gave commencement address
 England 1998 University of Buckingham Doctor of the University (D.Univ)[18]
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (December 2020)

Memberships and fellowships

Country Date Organisation Position
 United Kingdom 1991–present Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor Member
 United Kingdom 1992 – May 2020 Royal Over-Seas League President [19]
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (January 2021)


  1. ^ "Mr Richard Luce". Hansard. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  2. ^ "By hook or by crook". The Jerusalem Post. 16 July 2004. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  3. ^ "No. 52543". The London Gazette. 28 May 1991. p. 8208.
  4. ^ a b c "Albany: Rock solid". The Sunday Telegraph. 12 January 1997. Retrieved 18 August 2010.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Diplomat is new aide to Queen". Birmingham Evening Mail. 16 August 2000. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  6. ^ "No. 55989". The London Gazette. 5 October 2000. p. 11135.
  7. ^ "Lord Luce". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  8. ^ "No. 56014". The London Gazette. 31 October 2000. p. 12205.
  9. ^ "Dome critic is Queen's man". Daily Record. 16 August 2000. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  10. ^ "No. 58679". The London Gazette. 25 April 2008. p. 6383.
  11. ^ "See of Canterbury Appointment". 26 April 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Chancellor". University of Gibraltar. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  13. ^ The Friends of St. George's & Descendants of the Knights of the Garter Annual Review 2007/08, vol. VIII, 2008, p. 479
  14. ^ "List of retired West Sussex Deputy Lieutenants".
  15. ^ "Honorary Fellows | Christs College Cambridge".
  16. ^ "The Rt Hon the Lord Luce | Christs College Cambridge".
  17. ^ "Previous Chancellor | University of Gibraltar".
  18. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1978 - 2000".
  19. ^ "ROSL Announces New President". Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL).
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byHenry Kerby Member of Parliament for Arundel and Shoreham 1971February 1974 Constituency abolished New constituency Member of Parliament for Shoreham February 19741992 Succeeded byMichael Stephen Political offices Preceded byGrey Gowrie Minister for the Arts 1985–1990 Succeeded byDavid Mellor Government offices Preceded bySir Hugo White Governor of Gibraltar 1997–2000 Succeeded bySir David Durie Court offices Preceded byThe Rt Hon. The Lord Camoys Lord Chamberlain 2000–2006 Succeeded byThe Rt Hon. The Earl Peel Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom Preceded byThe Lord Morgan GentlemenBaron Luce Followed byThe Lord Ashcroft